Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Scientists crack structure of a novel enzyme linked to cell growth and cancer

Link: scientists-crack-structure-novel-enzyme-linked-cell-growth-and-cancer
Supporting link: 191106085445.htm

ZCCHC4 structure

A research team at the University of California, Riverside, has discovered the structure of a novel RNA-modifying enzyme, ZCCHC4, and identified the mechanism that controls how this enzyme recognizes its substrate. ZCCHC4 influences cell proliferation and has been linked to cancers. Jikui Song, an associate professor of biochemistry at UC Riverside who led the study, explained ZCCHC4 controls protein synthesis and cell proliferation by introducing an N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification into ribosomes. ZCCHC4 is overexpressed in tumors associated with hepatocellular carcinoma. The structure of ZCCHC4 provides an understanding of how this enzyme is wired to specifically act on '28S ribosomal RNA.Song's lab solved the crystal structure for an enzyme that plays a key role in DNA methylation, the process by which methyl groups are added to the DNA molecule.

I find it interesting that RNA would have such a great impact on tumors. Understanding the structure could help us understand a way to prevent or cure the issue causing tumors.

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